Friday, March 20, 2009

AIG and Sharia Finance

"...The nationalization of AIG is forcing the American taxpayer to support a very different kind of toxic asset. I refer to AIG's promotion of Sharia (Islamic law)...."

The Thomas More Law Center (bless them), in association with SANE (the Society of Americans for National Existence, has filed suit against the Federal government for funding AIG in its business of insuring Sharia complant investments. These are investments that are ostensibly in compliance with the requirements of Islamic law. Although this might sound benign, it is, in fact, intensively subversive to the security of the United States. In addition to inuring us to the concept that Sharia Law should be acceptable to us, it is even more invidious as a practical matter. The structure of these investments puts in place “Sharia Compliance Boards” which among other things, require that the sponsoring institutions make contributions to certain sanctioned “charities,” which are not necessarily benign to the interests of the United States and the Constution. AIG has developed a substantial business in insuring these investments.
What is especially amusing is that “in its motion to dismiss, the Department of Justice claimed that the government does not control AIG….” (
Isn’t it past time for the people of the United States to wake up?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Congressional Chutzpah

In light of the current state of what passes for Congressional action on the economic situation, I thought that it would be appropriate to cite some knowledge that ought to be “common,” but appears to be uncommon in the Capitol:

"No State shall… pass any pass any… ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts…." US Const Art I, sec. 10
This basic precept of the Constitution (made applicable to the Federal government by Amendment XIV) seems to have escaped most of the Congressional worthies who are tripping over themselves to get to the cameras for the purpose of trying to force AIG to rescind the “bonuses” that have been promised to various of it’s employees. If AIG made a contract with its employees, the government has no authority to interfere (you could look it up). Furthermore, today, the House voted by a vote of 128 to 93 to tax 90% of the AIG bonus receipts (ex post facto law, anyone?)

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." P.J. O’Rourke

"Politics is largely the process of taking credit for oneself, and putting the blame on others – regardless of the facts." Thomas Sowell
Let’s consider some of the prime recipients of AIG cash: Christopher Dodd… what do you know???!!! Now we can begin to understand the basis for the “Dodd Amendment” to the “porkulus bill (which featured the ratification of the AIG bonuses). Just watching the machinations of Senator Dodd (who was pleased to take credit for the “Dodd Amendment” before the rest of us learned what was in it) twisting himself into a pretzel before his superiors ordered him to confess his responsibility for it, is enough to prove the wisdom of Thomas Sowell and P.J. O’Rourke (as if that were even necessary).

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Gerald Ford
Just watch some of those worthies: Barney Frank, Charles Schumer, Carolyn Maloney, threatening citizens with the invocation of confiscatory tax laws. Watch, my personal favorite: the Hon. Gary Ackerman, of the 5th Cong District of NY – my very own congressman. Watch this unaccomplished, undistinguished backbencher wax eloquent in his scolding of the captive Chairman of AIG (a man who is serving for no compensation while trying to clean up Congress’ mess). It would be infuriating, except that Ackerman (with his ever present lapel flower) makes me think of “Chuckles the Clown” whenever I see him. This turkey is making policy that will have dire consequences for my grandchildren. The most amazing thing is that he has the chutzpah to call attention to himself in public.

Reacting to news Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA Championship, Mike Krzyzewski says, "the economy is something that [the president] should focus on, probably more than the brackets."
Let the President tend to his knitting. And let the members of Congress who are engaging in this Kabuki play, blaming everyone but themselves, slither back into the slime and leave us alone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Contrarianism re AIG

I have been listening to the sewage that is being spewed about the AIG "bonuses" with increasing exasperation. Why, for instance, are we assuming that these "bonuses" are "performance bonuses?" In many instances, applying the word "bonus" to this type of compensation is misleading. Frequently, these payments represent nothing more than deferred compensation. Companies and employees (or prospective employees) agree to lump sum payments to be paid after a certain time, rather than partially paid over a period of time (i.e. bi-monthly salary checks). Furthermore, it should not be surprising that these "bonus" agreements exist in AIG's case. These types of agreements are frequently used by companies that are in difficulty, to induce talented people to work for them.
It appears obvious to me that the sturm und drang that has ensued from the AIG "bonuses" is more a result of political calulations aimed at distracting attention from the true culprits (i.e., Congress), than from valid concerns.
The point of it all is that the government has no business in business. Providing public money for private companies is an invitation to the invocation of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Self Protection

Since the election (and, if truth be told, significantly before that), I have experienced an increasing amount of frustration, accompanied by acid reflux and much gnashing of teeth. My stepbrother-in-law suggested that I blog to relieve the pressures that build up in my system as a result of the continued assaults upon this county's future by those whom we (in our foolishness) have elected to govern us. So, I will try doing this as a method of self protection.
There is so much that is making me nuts.
The very existence of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd is sufficient unto itself to fill me with despair. This corrupt duo should be spending their lives in cells adjoining Bernard Madoff instead of in positions hat provide them with subpoena power.
.... What do you know!? Just being able to write that has made me feel better. I may try this again.